Fundamenta justitiæ sunt, ut ne cui noceatur, deinde ut communi utilitati serviatur. (Cicero, De Officiis)
That which is not just, is not Law; and that which is not Law, ought not to be obeyed (Algernon Sydney, Discourses Concerning Government 1698, Ch. 3, Sect. 11.)Common throughout all the territories of the British Isles are the fundamental principles of the rule of law, independence of the judiciary and the trial by jury as prescribed by law.
At the top of the judicature of the Commonwealth is the High Judicial Committee and below it are the High and Low courts of justice of England, Scotland, Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. The High Judicial Committee is the court of appeal (or last resort) for the Commonwealth, colonies and dominions, overseas territories and the former Crown dependencies.
High Judicial Committee
At the top of the judicature of the Commonwealth is the High Judicial Committee, that functions as a court of first instance for the trials of peers, for impeachment cases, and as a court of last resort within the Commonwealth. In the latter case the High Court's jurisdiction was essentially limited to the hearing of appeals from the lower courts.The High Judicial Committee is also the court of appeal (or court of last resort) for the Commonwealth colonies and dominions, territories and the former Crown dependencies Although the High Court of Justiciary remains the court of last resort for criminal law in Scotland. Because of the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, the High Judicial Committee cannot overturn any primary legislation made by Parliament. However, it can overturn secondary legislation.
Its twelve members are called Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, or Law Lords and are named by the Lord Protector on advice of the Lord Chancellors of England, Scotland and Ireland. At first, The Clerk of the High Court of Judicature would bring petitions to the High Court, and the whole High Judicial Committee could decide if they should or should not be referred to the Committee. As the number of petitions increased, the High Judicial Committee gained the power to reject petitions itself.